Is it possible for people to live however they wish?
Left without a support on which to build his misguidance and atheism the
representative of the misguided reveals his real intention, saying:
The real nature of atheism
‘Since I seek the pleasure and happiness of the worldly life, advancement
in civilization and perfection of art in denial of God, not heeding the Hereafter,
love of the world, being free to live however I wish and self-assertiveness,
I have drawn most people onto this path through the help of Satan, and continue
to do so.’
I say in the name of the Qur’an:
O helpless man! Come to yourself! Do not listen to the representative of
the misguided. If you listen to him, you will suffer such a great loss that
imagining it causes the spirit, mind and heart to shudder. There are two paths
Two paths before humanity
One is the path to which the representative of the misguided points and it
is a path full of dangers.
The other is the one which the wise Qur’an describes and it is a path that
brings happiness. You have already seen many comparisons between these two paths
in The Words, primarily in the first nine short ones. Now heed only one among
a thousand, which befits the occasion.
The path of misguidance, and associating partners with God and of dissipation
and transgression of Divine Commands, causes man to fall to bottomless depths
of degradation, and loads an unbearable burden onto his weak back and his heart
with boundless sorrows. For if a man does not recognize Almighty God and put
his trust in Him, he becomes like an extremely weak and impotent and an infinitely
poor and destitute animal, a mortal afflicted with pains and grieves and subject
to countless calamities. Throughout his life he suffers incessantly from separations
from the things which he loves and has had connections with, and leaving his
friends and relatives remaining in life in pains of separation, he enters into
the dark depths of the grave alone.
Also, he struggles in vain, with a limited will, little power, a short life-span
and a dull mind, against infinite pains and ambitions. He strives to realize
his countless desires and goals without any considerable result. While he is
unable to bear the burden of his own being, he loads his miserable mind and
back with the tremendous burden of the world. Before going to Hell, he suffers
the torments of Hell.
In order to be able to endure that sort of painful spiritual torment, a misguided
one leads himself to the drunkenness of heedlessness as some sort of anaesthesia.
However, when he has approached the grave, he begins to feel it most acutely.
For since he has refused to become a true servant to Almighty God, he supposes
himself to be the owner of his self. Whereas he is unable to govern his being
in this tumultuous world with his limited free will and insignificant power
and encounters numerous enemies from harmful microbes to earthquakes ready to
attack him. In painful fear and terror he looks to the door of the grave, which
always appears terrifying to him.
Furthermore, on account of being human, he is related to humankind and the
whole of the world. But since he does not believe the world and mankind to be
at the disposal of the One Who is All-Wise, All-Knowing, All-Powerful, All-Compassion-ate,
and All-Munificent, and attributes their existence and lives to chance and nature,
the fearful events of the world and the conditions and experiences of mankind
always trouble him. Together with his own pains, he also suffers from the troubles
of other creatures. The convulsions, earthquakes, plagues, calamities, deaths
and famines, which visit the world, inflict upon him unbearable torments.
A man in this position does not deserve mercy and affection for it is himself
who throws himself into such a terrible state. As is pointed out in The Eighth
Word, comparing the states of the two brothers who happened to fall into wells,
if a man who, not content with an agreeable and lawful enjoyment and entertainment
in a fine banquet among honest friends in a beautiful garden, has become drunk
with foul wine for the sake of a disagreeable pleasure, imagines himself to
be surrounded by wild beasts in a dirty place on a winter day and begins to
tremble and cry in fear, he will not deserve pity. For he is imagining his honest
friends to be wild beasts and insulting them, and supposing the delicious foods
as foul and the clean, fine plates and bowls as worthless, dirty stones, is
breaking whatever he touches, and judging the invaluable meaningful books which
have been brought to read and study to be ordinary meaningless collections of
sheets, is tearing them up and throwing them around. Rather than compassion
and pity, such a man deserves punishment.
Similarly, since through the drunkenness of unbelief and insanity of misguidance
arising from the abuse of will-power, a man asserts that the All-Wise Maker’s
guest-house of the world is a plaything of chance and nature, and that the transference
of beings to the world of the Unseen after each has completed its duty of refreshing
the manifestations of the Divine Names is going into absolute non-existence;
since he judges the glorifications of beings and their recitations of the Divine
Names to be outcries of deaths and eternal separations, and those sheets of
creatures which are each a missive of the Eternally Besought-of-All to be confused,
meaningless collections; since he sees the door of the grave, which is opened
on the world of mercy, as the opening of a dark world of non-existence and death
(while it is in fact an invitation to re-union with friends and beloved ones),
as absolute separation from all friends and beloved ones; he makes himself subject
to alterable and painful torment, and since he denies, rejects and insults both
creatures and the Divine Names and His inscriptions and missives, he in no way
deserves pity and compassion, rather he deserves a severe punishment.
So, O unfortunate people of misguidance and dissipation! Which progress and
evolution of yours and which sciences, which technology and civilization of
yours can compensate for such a terrible loss and collapse and crushing hopelessness?
Where can you find the true consolation which the human spirit needs first of
all and most urgently? What nature, what causality and whatever else on which
you rely and to which you attribute the works of God and His bounties and favors,
and what discoveries and inventions of yours and what idols and fetishes, can
save you from the darkness of death, which you suppose to be eternal extinction,
and take you across the boundaries of the intermediate world of the grave and
the place of the Resurrection and Gathering and over the Bridge to the Abode
of Eternal Happiness?
Whereas, since you are unable to close the door of the grave, you are bound
to traverse, to tread this way which reaches the One under Whose command and
at Whose disposal are all those worlds and abodes.
The potential of loving misspent
Also, O unfortunate, misguided and heedless people! Since you use unlawfully
in love of your selves and the world, the potential of loving and knowing which
was given to you to know and love God and His Attributes and Names, and your
body and faculties granted to you to worship and thank Him, you are suffering
the punishment which you deserve. Since you assign to your selves the love which
must be felt for Almighty God, you are suffering the troubles which your selves
cause you. You do not provide a true peace and happiness for that object of
your adoration, which is your carnal self. Since you do not submit it to the
Absolutely Powerful One, the True Beloved One, with utmost trust in Him, you
always suffer pains. Since you assign to the world the love belonging to the
Names and Attributes of Almighty God, and attribute the works of His art to
causality and nature, you are getting your deserts. The things among which you
share out your love either leave you without saying good-bye or do not recognize
you. Even if they recognize you, they do not love you. Even if they love you,
they give you no benefit. You suffer from incessant separations and deaths without
hope of re-union.
This is the reality of what the misguided call happiness of life and human
perfection and beauties of civilization and pleasures of freedom. Dissipation
and drunkenness are a veil which may temporarily keep them from feeling those
sufferings and pains.
As for the light-diffusing highway of the Qur’an, it heals the wounds with
which the misguided are afflicted, with the truths of belief, and disperses
all the darkness enveloping them. It closes up all the doors of misguidance
How do man’s essential weakness and destitution the
source of his real power and richness?
The way of the Qur’an removes the weakness and impotence of man and his poverty
and neediness through trust in an All-Powerful One of Compassion. In this way
man submits the burden of his being and life to His Power and Mercy and rather
than being loaded with that burden, he makes his self and life a mount for himself.
This way teaches him that he is not a speaking animal but a true human being
and a welcomed guest of the All-Merciful One. Showing the world as a guest-house
of the All-Merciful One and the creatures in it as the mirrors of the Divine
Names and ever-recruited missives of the Eternally Besought-of-All, it heals
perfectly the wounds caused by the transience of the world, decay of things
and love of mortals, and saves man from the darkness of whims and fancies.
The way of the Qur’an shows life to be the prelude to re-union with the friends
and beloved ones who have already gone to the other world, and thereby heals
the wounds of death, which the misguided regard as an eternal separation. It
establishes that that separation is in reality the re-union itself.
By demonstrating that the grave is a door opened on the world of mercy, the
abode of happiness, the gardens of Paradise and the luminous realm of the All-Merciful
One, the way of the Qur’an removes the greatest fear of mankind and shows the
journeying in the intermediate world which is, in appearance, most depressing
and troublesome, to be most pleasant and exhilarating. It demonstrates that
the grave is not like a dragon’s mouth but a door opened on the gardens of Divine
It says to the believer: Seeing that you have a most limited will-power,
then leave your affairs to the universal Will of your Owner. If you have a slight,
insignificant power, then rely on the Power of the Absolutely Powerful One.
If you have a short life, consider the eternal life. If you have a dull mind,
enter in the sun of the Qur’an. Look at it with the light of belief so that
in place of your mind, which gives light like a firefly, each of the Qur’an’s
verses gives you light like a star.
If you have endless ambitions and pains, boundless rewards and an infinite
mercy are awaiting you.